Rule #1: Do not walk on the Silver Comet Trail by yourself, people have been murdered there.
I don't know what urged me to break this rule, but I had debating the validity of this rule for a long time. My debate included questions such as: There have also been murders at the shopping malls I shop at, so what makes the Silver Comet Trail different from shopping by myself? If I can walk down Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles at 2 am, why can't I walk the Silver Comet Trail in broad daylight? I could never find answers to these questions that would keep me away - especially since I know enough self defense to injure someone trying to hurt me and have watched enough CSI to know to eat hair and scratch skin....
On this particular Friday, I noticed that there were plenty of people cycling along the trail, lots of cars parked in the lot, and the day wasn't oppressively hot - conditions perfect for a 5 walk along my portion of the 60 mile trail. I started walking along, having a great time - the longer I walked, the more confident I felt. Until about 1.78 miles from my car, when I broke Rule #2.
Rule #2: Do not stay outside in a thunderstorm.
At the 1.78 mile marker (I love the Silver Comet Trail for that - it keeps track of the miles for you!), I felt the first drops of rain. I immediately started cursing my husband for reporting the rain for Saturday, even though I should have been cursing whatever weather person (probably Dagmar) he heard it from. I then started cursing myself for thinking they'd be right instead of figuring out the rain myself. Hello - cloud in the sky!!!
At this point, I had no choice but to start back to my car, with hopes of beating the rain. Ha! I was about 1.68 miles away from my car when the sky completely opened up: wind started blowing strong enough to move trees - I'm talking relocation, not bending branches here, lightening started striking, thunder started rolling (like a train....), and little itty bits of hail started hitting me. I KEPT WALKING towards my car - mostly thinking that if I can survive this, I can survive anything October will throw at me. I thought about how little this was to survive in the grand scheme of things, and how trival things got me so tied up in myself that I couldn't get into the spirit of anything. About half an hour of thinking later, I arrived at my car, soaking wet, grateful for surviving, and ready to get home.
When I started driving home, one of the roads was blocked by a fire truck picking up a tree laying on top of a downed power line. When I got to my neighborhood, there was so much debris (and two more downed trees) that I had to drive on the other side of the road. I was looking around in awe thinking "I can't believe I was out in this, I really can't!" When I got inside (after the hot shower and the change of clothes), I turned on the news to see massive lightening counts (443!?!?), severe storm warnings, and lots and lots of red on the Doppler Radar. Again, a sense of awe overcame me - I just couldn't believe I walked over 1.5 miles in that. When I spoke to my neighbor, she indicated a mild tornado had hit.....I don't believe that, but then I do. Crazy!
But, crazier still is that I broke Rule #3, even after I have been warned, warned, and warned about the consequences of this one....
Rule #3: Do not walk in cotton socks.
Granted, I've been breaking this rule for a while now, mostly because I've always worn cotton socks and I haven't needed any new ones. But know that I have been planning to buy them....I really have, I just haven't been walking the big miles yet, and hadn't paid any consequences for breaking this rule.
Picture a drowned rat, and what you have is a slightly smaller version of me after my almost two mile walk in a storm dumping up to two inches an hour. My shoes were holding water, but everytime I walked, water would slosh out of them through the air vents. I could get most of the water out, except no matter how hard I tried, the cotton socks held water.
So, here it is 3 days later, and my cotton socks are wet inside my shoes, which due to all the foam have not completely dried out. This is the last day I am wearing cotton socks. I'm going tonight to get the good ones - because now I have paid the consequence for cotton socks.....my feet hurt, and I haven't walked at all today!
Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna